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in the morning, and at the end of the day, they're dead. >> with them, street to stree, as they fight assad's army. >> we are returning now, after the attack. it just shows you how brave they are, and at the same time, how disorganized they are. >> guardicorrespondent for frontlinghaith abdul-ahad, takes you inside the battle for syria. and later tonight, the regime responds. >> the regime now is bombarding civilian neighborhoods with artillery, with tank fire, and with fighter bombers. >> how is president bashar al-assad holding on to power? >> the iranians are gaining influence in syria now by the day. >> and what will happen if asd falls? >> there is definitely increasing worry in the united states administration about in whose hands these weapons are falling. >> these two stories on this special edition frontline. >> frontline is made possible by contributions to your pbs station from viewers like you. thank you. and by the corporation for public broadcasting. majofundinis provided by the john d. and catherine t. macarthur foundation, committed to building a more just, verdant and
, 70,000 have been killed since protests against syrian president assad. robert frod testified at a robert ford testified at a hearing. this is two hours and 15 minutes. >> this hearing will come to order. we need to review the syrian crisis. it was two years ago last week on the nightly news that we saw those protesters walking through the street, chanting, peaceful. what the world saw next without the syrian forces opened up with small arms fire on the marchers. over the ensuing weeks, that was followed by materially -- artillery barrage is and tanks and aerial apartment and finally i scud missiles into cities. we are now two years into that syria and uprising. for two leady years, u.s. policy has been a drift. the obama administration saw assad as a reformer in the works. then it bet on moscow to play a constructive role. this is the assad who is bombing villages in syria. this is the assad who is ordering teenagers tortured. frankly, he is engaged in murdering his populist. the ancient city is now in ruins. 70,000 syrians are dead. a million refugees has spilled into neighb
the assad regime in syria, allowing the over flights by iran. now, if so, that raises serious questions about u.s./iraqi relations going forward. secretary kerry met with iraqi prime minister malkey in his unannounced stroz baghdad today. and those iranian flights were at the top of the agend a. the secretary and the prime minister had a private meeting that kerry described as a spirited discussion. when it was over, the secretary told reporters, quote, anything that supportings president assad is problematic. i made it very clear to the prime minister that the overflights from iran are in fact helping to discontinue president osaud and his regime. thez believes the iranian aircraft flying over iraq are carrying weapons to help arm the syrian government, although it rawn insists it is humanitarian aid. the u.s. has asked iraq to force the planes to land in iraq for inspections. but only a few have been checked. they have long been a point of conflict between the and u.s. iraq. >> the intent here, fwy going public, is to increase the pressure on al-malma laki. but it shows how minimal ou
and the syrian opposition to haste and assad'shasten the end of rule. he has lost his lead agency -- .etters --legitimacy to rule we have been clear that the use of chemical weapons against the syrian people would be a serious and tragic mistake. we also share israel's raid concerned about the transfer of chemical or other weapons to terrorists, like has the law, -- like hezbollah, which might be used against israel. finally, we continue consultation on iran. we agree that a nuclear armed iran would be a threat to the and israel.he world we agree on our goal -- we do not have a policy of containment when it comes to a nuclear iraq. our policy is to prevent iran from obtaining a nuclear weapon. we prefer to resolve this diplomatically. there is still time to do so. must understand the need to meet their international obligations. international community will increase the pressure on the iranian government. the united states will continue to work closely with israel on steps. i will repeat -- all options are on the table. we will do what is necessary to prevent iran from getting those weapons.
assad in syria. >> there are members of congress and people in america who increasingly are watching what iraq is doing. and wondering how it is that a partner in effort for democracy and partner for whom miles per hours feel they have try -- americans feel they have tried hard to be helpful, how the country could do something that makes it difficult to achieve the common goals. >> in syria, the weekend brought word that assad was badly injured and sheikh fatig the civilian leader who appeared aside kerry in rome three weeks ago announced his res eg resignatio. >> the announcement doesn't change support for the syrian oppositionor coalition. >> secretary kerry and his aths said the resignation of one man isn't as important as need for unity among the rebels but it appears more illusive tonight. the offer to negotiate with the assad regime, extended at the behest of the administration that weakped the up port amongst the rebels -- support amongst the rebels. >> shannon: we are learning what role we play in this. >> it's been confirmed that the united states is training its own forces
. >> rose: the syrian conflict reached new levels this week. the assad regime and the syrian opposition groups accused of each other of using chemical weapons. the allegations were made only hours before president obama's departure to israel yesterday. the white house has yet to verify the claims but lawmakers are increasingly calling for action. here's what president obama said earlier today in a joint press conference with israeli prime minister netanyahu. >> with respect to chemical weapons, we intend to investigate thoroughly exactly what happened. obviously, in syria right now, you've got a war zone. you have information that's filtered out. but we have to make sure that we know exactly what happened, what was nature of the incident, what can we document, what can we prove. i've instructed me teams to work closely with all other countries in the region, and international organizations, and institutions to find out precisely whether or not this red line was crossed. i will note without at this point having all the facts before me, that we know the syrian government has the capacity
committee. >> you have this-- this horrible possibility that if assad falls and there is a huge vacuum and cass on ensues, that you have hezbollah there, you have al qaeda, you have some hamas elements there, and you have lots of chemical weapons and lots of very sophisticated conventional weapons that will be up for grabs. and that chaos will cause huge problem for the middle east, for southern europe, and i argue, for the unit stat. member,hese are sophisticated weapons system would make libya look like an antique gun show when all of those weapons spread across north africa. dangerous, destabilizing stuff. >> rose: we continue with a an analysis from richard haas of council on foreign relations, and joshua landis of the university of oklahoma. >> desperate leaders might do desperate things if they felt there was no alternative. i don'i don't think we can prevent the use unless we thaten, i if they are used on any significant scale, what do we do then? >> rose: we conclude with a look at the press conference pie the chairman of the federal reserve, ben bernanke. my guests alan blinde
and caution the u.s. is investigating claims that the syrian president bashar assad used them, the president bristleed when israeli reporter suggested the u.s. has been sitting on their hands. >> it's incorrect for you to say we have done nothing. we helped mobilize the isolation of the assad regime internationally. we have supported and recognized the opposition. >> the president first said assad's days were numbers 19 months ago. last summer, he warned of potential u.s. force against syria. >> red line for us. we start saying bunch of chemical weapons moving around or utilized. that would change my calculus. >> back in washington today, the top republican charged the administration's policy has been adrift. >> the obama administration saw assad as a reformer in their words. it backed the u.n. diplomacy and bet on moscow to play a productive role. none of this worked. >> netanyahu's intelligence director said it's clear that the chemical weapons were used in syria. the chairman of the house intelligence committee said he believes that chemical weapons were used by the regime as a caveat. >>
could get a lot worse. all of various groups fighting assad of syria. they want assad to go. they also potentially bring that violence across the border from syria into lebanon and most particularly into jordan. i think obama was trying to have a better relationship with king abdullah of jordan. unlike other parts of arab spring where they are willing to let kings fall but with abdullah he has to support him and give him the kind of assistance he needs especially to deal with the refugees. problem with refugees they rarely come alone. there will be fighters that want to bring the fight to jordan. >> arthel: that makes it so complicated. i was in istanbul, turkey and i was talking to a guy from syria. he was saying that want president obama to arm the rebels, opposition forces. britain and france are on board with the notion but how do you think president obama will move forward with respect to syria? of course, there is chemical weapons factor. >> we have green and white and now i think what he has done he put the red line. chemical weapons we're not going to let that happen. >> arthel
has resigned. the founder of the rebel-free syrian army, the main group challenging the assad regime seriously injured in a car bombing. a number of developments here as we welcome you to whole new week here on "america's newsroom.". i'm bill hemmer. martha has time for the family. >> i'm heather childers, nice to be here again. secretary of state john kerry is in the middle east. he is urging iraq to stop letting iran use its airspace to shuttle weapons and soldiers to the syrian government >> for those of us engaged in the effort to see president assad step down and a see a democratic process take hold with a transitional government government according to the geneva communique, for those of us engaged in that effort, anything that supports president assad is problematic. bill: so iran claims the flights contain humanitarian supplies. conor powell in the middle east bureau in jerusalem. first of all who is behind the car bomb, the car bomb hit on the rebel commander? >> reporter: so often is the case, bill, really tough to get accurate information coming out of syria. but it is not
by the bashar al-assad regime. president obama expressing frustration with those who question the president about why the united states is not doing more to intervene in the syrian conflict. >> it is fair to say that the united states often finds itself in a situation where does criticize militarily. if we don't go in militarily, then people ask why we are not doing something. lou: senator carl levin, pushing president obama to take a hands-on approach to the removal of bashar al-assad. and as senator john mccain looking for a no-fly zone to be instituted. while calling for surgical airstrikes to help drive the bashar al-assad. the president repeated that any evidence of this weapon to use would be a game changer, as he put it. president obama defended his administration's reluctance to use military force to quell the syrian civil war. >> when we are working with the syrians themselves, so this is not externally imposed, but rather something that is linked directly with the aspirations of the people inside of syria, it will work better. lou: the king has also said the same. inside jordan co
maliki, accusing him of colluding with iran to prop up the assad regime by permitting almost daily weapons shipments from iran to syria through iraq's airspace. >> we had a very spirited discussion on the subject of the overflights. i made it very clear to the prime minister that the overflights from iran are in fact helping to sustain president assad. and his regime. >> reporter: iraq denies it but u.s. officials say there are far too many flights. plus intelligence that iranian weapons and fighters are also moving overland through iraq to syria. it is called survival in a tough neighborhood. >> for maliki a rebel victory in syria he fears will empower his political opponents in iraq. >> reporter: nbc's richard engel who covered the war from beginning to end. >> iraq didn't become a stable u.s. friendly democracy. but a shiite led state with close ties to iran. still at war with itself. >> reporter: kerry warns prime minister that courting iran risks his partnership with the u.s. >> i also made it clear to him that there are members of congress and people in america who increasing
that they have been hopeful, that they think there is strategic distress over the king of the assad regime. they are more relaxed about that. a much more relaxed about egypt. instead of believing the u.s. or "-- will reorder the middle east, i find that this is a sober kind of summit, about what is doable, and what is not doable. there is a lot about the new israeli government, which i am happy to discuss in the question and answer. thank you very much. >> thank you. mike? >> thank you. it is good to be doing this. it is good to be on this panel with my colleagues. one of the great strengths about the washington institute, which makes it so nice to work here, to have colleagues like dennis and david, who are a great source of wisdom on this topic. i apologize to my dearest to have hd screens to have to watch me watch -- what to watch me eat lunch. we begin these things by saying, welcome mr. secretary, members of congress. nobody knows any different. [laughter] that is the benefit of live stream. i was asked to do this in part because the last presidential trip to the middle east, rather t
on assad to step down because of the horrific violence being inflicted on the syrian people. jordan took a leading role in the political transition to a more stable government. we are looking at strengthening the syrian opposition. we share concerns about violence spilling across the borders. i want to make it clear. the united states is committed to the security of jordan, which is backed by our strong alliance. the jordanian people have displayed extraordinary generosity, but the strains of some many refugees inevitably is showing. from day, they are far home, but this is a heavy burden. need the international community to step up and help shoulder this burden. the united states will certainly do our part. we are these single largest donor of assistance to the syrian people. some of this has helped jordan, and for days i have been announcing that my administration will provide jordan with an additional $200 million in budget support as it cares for syrian refugees and jordanian communities affected by this crisis. this will mean more assistance with basic services including education f
worse in the world than what is going on in syria. assad's regime will stop at nothing. i have a family in aleppo. while they're safe there are millions of aleppo and all over syria are at risk. i think this may have been a trial balloon. we talk to some of our network physicians, we were skyping, a friend of mine was skyping at the hostile that received injured. it was clear that they had injuries with probably chemical related, pupils and broncho restriction that appear to be chemical. melissa: you think it probably was the case that it was probably chemical weapons? >> we do believe so. it just, too many patients did not have trauma but rather had respiratory, chemical type injuries to be explainable by simply a blast trauma. so you know, what do we do now? the bottom line is is that, assad may be testing the will of the international community. he may be trying to say, there is a lot of finger-pointing going on who really did this? the assad regime is saying the rebels did this. maybe assad is trying to get america with drones or others to attack the rebels and bizarrely take his si
with benjamin netanyahu. following a would closed-door meeting between those two leaders. as the assad regime and syrian rebels accuse each other of launching deadly chemical and launching a deadly chemical attack just hours before the president's arrival. the white house at this point says it cannot con official those claims. this trip to israel is the first for the president. this is a four-day middle east trip. he was greeted by netanyahu and israeli president perez. before leaving the a airport, president obama was shown the israeli air force system which the u.s. helped pay for. he met with president perez and took part in a ceremonial tree planting. >> there is a common vision uniting us. to confirm dangers. to bring closure as soon as possible. >> i reaffirm president perez, as i will throughout my visit, that in this work, the state of israel will have no greater friend than the united states. right now as president meets with prime minister netanyahu, major issues, like syria, iran's nuclear program, stalled peace talks. ish a us taking center stage and joining me live now from jerus
weapons. there were reports from syria that the president assad regime used chemical weapons against the rebels and the united states reached the conclusion that that is probably not so. this situation is close to the brink of forcing the united states to intervene in some way to prevent crossing this redline. president obama's trip to the region, including jordan, is hosting hundreds of thousands of refugees and highlighted the fact that the situation on the ground in syria is not getting better. there is no sign that it will get better. it does not seem the united states has a response to this ongoing challenge. guest: the united states has been the biggest donor in terms of humanitarian and financial aid to the syrian opposition. close to $500 million so far. also giving logistical and to indications training. we are told there is some training and intelligence being given to the militants, parts of the opposition. we need to understand what is going on in syria is looking like a civil war. a civil war between extremist islamic militant groups that are not real militias. there are
, a she'ite muslim is helping to support the assad regime in syria. now, secretary kerry met with iraqi president nouri al-maliki during a visit in baghdad today. those iranian flights were at the top of the agenda. they had what kerry described as a spirited discussion. here is the secretary. >> anything that supports president assad is problematic and you i made it very clear to the prime minister that the overflights from iran are in fact helping to sustain president assad and his regime. >> reporter: the u.s. believes the iranian aircraft flying over iraq are carrying weapons to arm the syrian government but tehran says they are delivering only humanitarian aid there. they wanted to force the planes for inspections but only a few have been checked. >> i think the intent here by going public is to increase the pressure on al-maliki but the whole incident how minimal influence is on the regime in iraq and how minimal our ability to affect the conflict in syria has become. >> reporter: u.s. officials say the flights are taking place just about every day. kerry says the u.s. congress is
in syria that brought a signal warning from the president to president assad's discredited regime. >> we have been clear that the use of chemical weapons against the syrian people would be a serious and tragic mistake. the assad regime must understand that they will be held accountable for the use of chemical weapons or their transfer to terrorists. >> and the president said his administration is fully investigating those claims of chemical weapons used in syria. nbc news chief foreign correspondent richard engle join us. the first question out of the gate was a robust one, asking the president about the slaughter of innocence in syria and the alleged use of chemical weapons there. the president said pointedly that use of chemical weapons would be a game changer and that assad and his regime would be held accountable. but this is an incredibly tough case for the president, isn't it? >> reporter: i don't think the president wants to get involved in syria. i think the bar is very high. i think the president worries that if he starts getting involved in syria and becomes known as protector
. >> kremlin steadfastly backed the assad regime with weapons and political support blamed the rebels. but opposition leaders swiftly denied responsibility for attack in any event would have exceeded the known military capabilities. >> the rebels don't have access to chemical weapons. they don't have access to watch the chemical weapons. >> indeed the regime of the dictatorial president bashar assad long been believed to possess one of the largest arsenals of biological and chemicals weapons. he has used scud missile against the rebels in the two-year civil war that claimed upwards of 70,000 lives. while the pentagon restricted itself to saying that the u.s. has no evidence that either side used chemical weapons, others in the obama administration went on offense. >> to say we have no reason to believe the allegations represent anything more than the regime's continued attempt to discredit the legitimate opposition and distract from its own atrocities committed against the syrian people. >> we would warn the regime making these charges, any kind of pretext or cover. for its use of che
with the civil war in syria. how? the secretary says that iraq has been helping prop up assad as he fights for power there. kerry making an unannounced visitor to iraq and meeting with nuri al-maliki. and stopping the flow of weapons into neighboring syria. weapons that are only making the civil war more deadly. and steve centanni is here. how are they flowing into syria? >> reporter: according to u.s. officials there are flights just about every day, from iran to syria travelling across the iraqi air space. iran says they carry humanitarian aid, but u.s. says they carry weapons to the syrian government. and secretary of state john kerry urged al-maliki to crack down on the flights requiring they land in iraq for inspection before continuing on to syria. >> we had a very spirited discussion on the subject of the overflights and i made it very clear, anything that supports president assad is problematic. >> kerry suggested the future of u.s.-iraqi relations is hanging in the balance here, harris. >> harris: given the recent talks and the possibility of chemical weapons used on citizens and
simply aren't going to improve the situation. the colonel assad is reportedly in stable condition in turkey after an assassination attempt. he was one of the original founders of the free syrian army but has been somewhat marge alized in recent months. colonel assad has never been able to unite the many different groups fighting the syrian regime of the the attack on his life happened while he was touring a rebel area. there is the possibility that there is internal rebel politics at play though syrian rebels blame syria and the assad government for the attack. in another blow to the opposition, the leading opposition figure, katabi offered his resignation yesterday but it was rejected by rebel leaders. on facebook he said he was resigning due to restrictions on his work. the overall inner workings of the syrian opposition is really, really complicated. as actual fighters fighting in syria simply don't report to the syrian leadership and jenna, this really does remain a fragmented syrian opposition and two years into the civil war, it hasn't really improve many in the internationa
in just the. >> what is going to happen? >> ultimately bashar assad will fall. the timing the precise scenario are not known. but the rebels are encroaching. they control more ter another-- territory. they have half of aleppo. they are fighting in the outskirts of damascus am we can see the regime becomes more desperate with its back to the world, may or may not have used chemical weapons. but the calculus is the calculus of desperate -- >> may or may not have used chemical weapons. certainly not in an extent that might be powerful and that might change as the president said, be a game changer. they haven't used him that way. >> right. >> do you believe they would use them that way? that is not-- it's not they. the people bashar assad and those that are supporting him believe that that is the only thing they have left. >> they have made so many mistakes in the past two years that i can't really doubt. it would be a terrible act and a terrible mistake but i can't rule it out. >> rose: i think that they're testing obama. they are testing this red line that obama has put down. they have
to syria, which they're doing on virtually a daily basis now in support of basharof al-assad, which was an inadvertent consequence.an but it stems from the fact that no forces were there to govern iraqi airspace.go second, if we had had even just 1,000 special forces there,st special operations forces to work with the iraqis special operations forces we would have been much more effective against al qaeda in iraq, which is largely defeated during the surge, but not epityler. al qaeda in iraq is now morphed into the anasra front, the primary jihadi organization in syria that is causing us so much heartburn. >> rose: okay, we want to talkch about that when we continue with this segment and some other people who have written about and were reporters there, including john burns, and fouad ajami, dexter filkins, to talk about the implications also in this book-- and michael will stay with us-- having to do witl how do you measure the iraqi war after 10 years, 4,500 american lives, some 30,000 came home injured, $2 trillion, i think, is the number they put on it, correct? >> you can calcu
publicly that assad of syria has to go. that was a choice that he made. one would assume that declaring it publicly involves a commitment by the united states which the united states is prepared then to make effective. and that, therefore, we have the means and the strategy for achieving that objective. it soon turned out that this was a rhetorical commitment without a real capacity for follow through on our part. so we went to the u.n., and we demanded that the u.n. security council support us on this. not surprisingly, the russians and the chinese said, well, we don't share this conclusion, and we're not going to join you in forcing assad out, and we object, and the resolution failed. we thereupon denounced the russians and chinese as having engaged in a stance that is infantile and disgusting, those were the words used by our ambassador to the u.n. which is not a way of soliciting their support for further -- [laughter] further common policy. on top of it, it became increasingly clear that the opposition to assad is very mixed. some of it involves some of our friends who are sponsori
with the shock assad's regime. government troops and rebel fighters are blaming each other for a chemical attack near the northern city of aleppo -- dialogue with bashar alabama assad's regime. >> they accuse rebel fighters of launching a missile containing poisonous gases. the information minister said this type of weapon was prohibited under international law. >> so far, we have 16 martyrs and 86 wounded. most of them are in critical condition. the chemical contained in the missile causes immediate fainting, convulsion, and that. >> in istanbul, syria's main opposition group said they were looking at the attack rejected allegations that rebels were involved. we also know the rebels do not have access to chemical weapons. they would not have access to the means of launching these kind of chemical weapons. >> we have no details yet. we are against using chemical weapons from any side. i am not expecting the revolutionaries to do that, but we are against anyone who would use it. member for now, the reports cannot be independently verified due to tight media restrictions -- >> for now, the reports
ahmadinejad of iran and bashar .l-assad of syria >> i'm confident that assad will go. it's not a question of if, it's when. and so part of what we have to spend a lot of time thinking about is what's the aftermath of that and how does that work in a way that actually serves the syrian people? gwen: and today he did some hand-holding with the leaders of jordan and turkey as well. not too much on his plate this week, guys. what was this trip designed to accomplish? >> the first thing was to seal up this perception that president obama has not had israel's interests front and center, and he seemed to succeed at that. in heretz this morning, they wrote, the most powerful man in the world arrived in the most threatened state in the world to promise love. hebrew, noted he spoke how much hebrew he used. and then at the end of his visit, brokered a phone call between prime minister netanyahu and the president of turkey, two countries that have been estranged since a turkish boat on the way to help gaza was attacked by israeli commandos? gwen: so, tom, is this like woody allen says, 90% of life is
. >>> and now syria. the assad regime and rebel forces are accusing one another of using chemical weapons. syrian state media reported that rebel forces launched a chemical attack killing at least two dozen people, injuring more than 100 people. rebels deny that charge vehemently and accuse regime forces of shelling a town near damascus with chemical rockets. our senior international reporter is in amman, jordan, this morning. i know there are a lot of questions to substantiating the claims. what do we know so far? >> reporter: most of the information is coming from syrian state tv. and that's claiming that at least 25 people were killed in some kind of an attack in a village. scores of people wounded. and then syrian state tv playing interviews with some of the alleged victims who were saying that they smelled chlorine and almost all aping the same message, is this the freedom that the free syrian army rebels want? so some of those statements do come out to be a little suspect. neither side has been entirely truthful when it comes to the information and media war over syria. now very qui
, president bashar al-assad and his associates are resorting increasingly with other indiscriminate capabilities that terrorize innocent syrians and increase further the flow of refugees out of syria. former secretary panetta discussed the possibility of more robust options for military support last year. and he agreed to bring this matter to his counterparts in brussels. the recent decisions by the french and the british that provided assistance directly to the syrian opposition suggests that the position and nato is by no means unified. admiral come i hope you will provide us with some concept of our current thinking compared to that of our european partnerships, as it relates to syria and possible additional roles for the alliance beyond the deployment. eucom responsibilities include managing military engagement and cooperation, including through the nato and russia council. this includes russia's cooperation with the coalition equipment out of afghanistan, along the northern distribution network through russia and over 110 military to military activities between our two militari
going on between the assad regime and rebels, all this talk in the past 48 hours about possible chemical weapons being used. this is very close to where the president is going to be. and then if you go beyond this, and you move over here to iran, look, here is israel over here, here is syria, here is iraq. here is iran over here. iran is about the size of alaska. you may notice at this point, it is all out here, sort of receiptireceipt i reddish looking. they may be a year away from having a nuclear weapon. the reason this is red is this is the range of the shehadeh 3 missile from iran. it easily reaches over here to israel and that's important to bear in mind, because all this is happening in the small place. here is a simple way to describe it. if you went from tehran directly over to tel aviv, this is the distance from boston to chicago. you cross only four or five states in the united states to cover all that ground and all of these issues, wolf, are happening in this really relatively small area and as we pointed out, right in the middle, here is iraq, some of the turmoil that happe
issue by president obama who warned syria's dictator bashar al-assad that he should not cross that line. bill: the white house has been briefed and the white house has to make some decisions in this. i think the days are becoming more desperate and the regime is more desperate and we know where the chemical weapons are, end quote. peter doocy leads the coverage in washington. how certain are the lawmakers that chemical weapons have been used, peter? >> reporter: not 100% certain, bill but senator feinstein says lawmakers have seen the same intelligence the white house has seen. mike rogers the chairman of the house intelligence committee said in an interview about syria i have a high probability to believe that chemical weapons were used w we need the final verification. i, mike rogers, chairman. intelligence committee would come to the conclusion they are either positioned for use or ready to do that or in fact have been used. if a final verification about chemical weapons use is made, congressman rogers says the united states is morally obligated to take out syria's weapons delivery s
about whether a cornered al assad might hit jerusalem or israel. it was dramatic and it made me wonder if we missed something. i wonder what you're sense of where we are on this matter today is. >> reporter: well, it still is confusing. there are reports all over the map. prime minister netanyahu's intelligence minister today telling army radio that there are suggestions to him that chemical weapons in fact were used by the syrian government. but there was a hearing on capitol hill where in fact there were lawmakers kicking it around and the u.s. embassador to syria said we don't know this as a fact yet. it needs to be investigated. the embassador echoed what president obama said. another key republican, mike rogers, the house intelligence chairman, was on cbs news this morning and said he thinks, it appears to him, chemical weapons were used but he's a former fbi official who wants to see forensic evidence. that's important for a republican lawmaker to underline saying we need evidence before we say chemical weapons were used. >> ed henry on a historic day in jerusalem. we look forwar
. president obama says he's skeptical assad used chemical weapons. >> we have been clear that the use of chemical weapons guess against the syrian people would be a mistake. >> by the way, netanyahu agrees with president obama on syria conservatives tried to use our relationship with israel to grab votes. they accused president obama of not getting it. and some called him the most antiisrael president in history. bb set the record straight. >> i want to thank you for the investment you've made in our relationship and strengthening the alliance between our countries. the president has reaffirmed more than any other president, israel's right and duty to defend itself against any threat. so it's a pro found honer to host you, the leader of the free world, at this historic time in our ancient capital. welcome to israel. >> let's turn to policy analyst for the center for american progress. let me start with you. we see these conciliatory gestures being offered by prime minister netanyahu, but that's different than the lecture he gave to obama in his own digs in the white house. what accoun
anything else in syria. >> in syria, you think it's time? >> the day after assad leaves, the biggest fear is where do the chemical weapons go? remember what happened in libya? all of these weapons are in the middle east. when assad falls we need an international coalition and we'll be part of it to secure the ten or 12 weapons sites that have the weapons. if we don't control those chemical weapons we'll be in real trouble down the road. >> the countries, many have war fatigue. >> yes. >> when you raise the thoughts of boots on the ground in syria, most people chills go up their spine. >> i totally get it. here is what i hope we're not tired of, defending ourselves against weapons of mass destruction. and the question for the american people at large, who gets the weapons when assad falls, radical islamists or control them so we make sure they're not in the bad guy's in general. i'm sorry the war is going on so long and the i want the people at large to say we're war weary, but trust me if we let the weapons get into the iran or islamist hands. it has to be a footprints-- >> and what about
the forum to deliver another stern warning to the assad regime in syria next door. >> we will not tolerate the use of chemical weapons against the syrian people or the transfer of those weapons to terrorists. the world is watching, we will hold you accountable. >> and he was cheered for his commitment on iran. >> america will do what we must to prevent a nuclear-armed iran. >> earlier in the west bank, president obama met with the palestinian president, mahmoud abbas. only hours after a stark reminder of the region's dangers as militants in gaza fired several rockets into southern israel. in ramallah today, the president also reversed course, no longer demanding that israel freeze settlements before peace talks resume on borders and israeli security. >> and that's not to say settlements are not important, it is to say that if we solve those two problems, the settlement problem will be solved. so i don't want to put the cart before the horse. >> and "meet the press," why is our own chuck todd pushing his luck with the president? >> chuck, you're just incorrigible. >> we'll have more on that
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